Above: Petroglyphs at Duquesne Bay in Grenada

Grenada’s Ancient Rock Art

Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that human habitation of Grenada dates back at least two millennia. The original inhabitants were Arawak, who migrated north from the Orinoco River basin in South America, as evidenced by the style of the petroglyphs and stone tools they left behind. Alas, we know little more about them, because they were replaced by the Kalinago people, who were then decimated by the French in the 17th century. Nor does it help that archaeologists have given Grenada relatively limited attention, or that the government makes little effort to preserve what remains.

Fortunately, it’s still possible to see several ancient sites on Grenada. Local operator Caribbean Horizons organizes a Rock Art Tour with a private driver, and we booked the full-day excursion during our recent visit of the island.

We started in the small but informative Grenada National Museum in downtown St. George’s. It provided helpful context, if few impressive examples of artifacts. Nearby, in front of the National Stadium, we paused at an Amerindian work stone, a boulder pocked by numerous cupule indentations, used by ancient inhabitants to shape and sharpen stone tools. It stands a few hundred feet from where it was discovered, protected by a small enclosure.

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